Startup accelerator TURN8 recently concluded their growth program for new global tech startups. The event celebrated the startups validating their business models, accelerating their sales and marketing efforts, and raising additional funding.  The event was supported by DP World, Forbes Middle East, Dubai Startup Hub and MENA Private Equity Association who are in constant search for engaging in community events like these.
TURN8’s program manager, Ahmed Abdulwahab, commented, “Within the TURN8 program, we coach teams in accelerating their product, sales and marketing efforts. These teams demonstrate innovative solutions with real game-changing possibilities. It’s exciting to accompany this round of startups on their journey of market entry and scale of business.”The graduating teams pitched for late seed or early Series A funding from investors from the UAE and greater GCC.Managing Director and CEO, Al Tayyar Travel Group, Abdullah Al Dawood, who was a keynote speaker at the event said, “There are a lot of opportunities in the GCC region for new ideas. Events like these provide a significant boost to start-ups by giving them a chance to showcase their ideas to potential investors who can help their dreams turn into reality. With the recent shift witnessed globally, there is no better time for corporate investors like us to look out for alternatives and diversify into such entrepreneurial ventures and help us gain medium to long term returns.”

He also highlighted the opportunities in corporate venturing and shared his experience in startup investments. The Al Tayyar Travel group has successfully invested in startups like Careem, Wadi and Mosafer.com.

Supporting the initiative, Editor-in-chief and CEO of Arab Publisher House, Khuloud Al Omian, said, “The relationship between investors and entrepreneurs is of mutual benefit. This connection not only reaps financial gains but also it is an investment in creativity, technology and making the world a better smarter and ever more sustainable place for future generations.  It is our constant effort to provide start-ups with an adequate platform to showcase their ideas to the world.”

Omian also announced a new platform for start-ups called as “The Forbes Platform for Startups”. This web-based platform will engage entrepreneurs and potential investors in Forbes Middle East’s clientele.

The startup companies that were chosen for TURN8 Round 6 include:

– AirGo (Singapore): An award-winning and patent-pending design concept that will take both airlines profits and passenger experience to a whole new level.

– Bridg (UAE): A mobile payment platform that allows smartphones to transact regardless of connectivity. Bridg partners with local gateways and processors to enable fast deployment across the global landscape.

– Crowdbabble (Canada): Helps marketers to benchmark and optimize their social media performance by understand what is working and what isn’t, for themselves as well as their competitors.

– Meetizer (Spain): A social app where travelers and expats connect and share plans in real-life by creating ‘here & now meetups on the go’ over a coffee or lunch break, an event or whatever they plan.

– Finerd (UAE): Harnessing the power of the latest technology, rigorous academic research and an honest management, Finerd provides intelligent investment solutions for everyone.

– Visage (UAE): A crowdsourced recruiting platform for startups and SMEs. Professional recruiters worldwide refer their surplus candidates.

– HeyDoc! (UAE): A healthcare communications and technology platform dedicated to connecting patients with t medical consultants, wherever they are in the easiest way possible. Delivering in-app consultations, without the need for physical appointments.

– Prattler (Ukraine): A social media platform creating a user’s own brand in a live stream while following any broadcasted media content. Users can stream themselves directly to share emotions, thoughts and reactions with others while building their following of other users viewing the same event.

– Mailburn (Russia): A clever business communication solution that will change emails forever by allowing users to close more business tasks and bring the entire business communication industry up-to-date through speed, security and openness.

Networking and dinner followed the pitches with an interactive session between investors and the teams. For example, investors received a ‘chequebook’ with a value of $1m in ‘Monopoly Money’ available to be invested in different teams during the course of the evening. Investors were asked to write cheques to teams in amounts they felt were commiserate with actual investment potential.  The team who collected the most amount of money from investors during the evening was prioritized for TURN8 follow-on funding.